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Enlightenment Awareness of the Earth

Ancient scholars generally hold the view of the whole earth and pay attention to the discussion on the origin of all things on the earth. There is the “Theory of Yin and Yang” and the “Theory of Five Elements” in china. “Theory of Yin and Yang” derives from The Book of Changes in the 11th Century BC. “Theory of Five Elements” was firstly found in the text of Shangshu—Hong Fan. The “Jin” in the five elements is abstracted by summarizing the common features of gold, silver, copper, iron and other metals. Thales of ancient Greece believes the fundamental element of nature is water. Anaximander proposed that the four elements of water, air, soil and fire are fundamental elements that form all things on earth. The school of atomic theory of ancient Greece explained the formation of the earth with the vortical movement of atoms. The Pythagorean School believes the earth, celestial bodies and the universe are all spherical. Aristotle proves the concept of spherical earth through the observation of the lunar eclipse and the phenomenon that altitude of the stars increases from south to north. The ancient Greeks gradually formed geocentricism. Although Aristarchus proposed heliocentrism that the earth makes a complete revolution around the sun in a circular orbit every year, geocentricism became orthodoxy for ten thousand years because of the influence of Eudoxus of Cnidus, Aristotle and C. Ptolemaeus et al. In ancient China, there are 3 kinds of hypothesis that have impact on the view about the earth, including theory of canopy-heavens, theory of sphere-heavens and theory of expounding appearance in the night sky. The theory of sphere-heavens was greatly developed in the Han Dynasty. Zhang Heng of the Eastern Han Dynasty made the armillary sphere. His Annotations for Armillary Sphere is a representative work of the theory of sphere-heavens.


Ministry of Land and Resources P.R. ChinaDepartment of Land and Resources of Hubei ProvincePeople’s Government of HuanggangHuanggang Municipal Bureau of Land and ResourcesGlobal Geoparks NetworkNational Geopark of China The Geological Museum of ChinaHong Kong UNESCO Global GeoparkShennongjia Global GeoparkTianzhushan Global Geopark




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